Doug Creamer: May lessons

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 13, 2023

By Doug Creamer

The weather has been fickle. It starts to warm up and then it cools down. I think we have finally turned the corner on the cold weather. The reason I am hoping the weather stays warm is that I brought my wife’s plants out of the garage. Her tropical plants find a home inside our garage every winter. It is always a happy day when we can bring the plants back outside.

My wife has many beautiful plants. Some can tolerate the cold and stay outside for the winter. But she has a fair number of plants that have to come in for the cold winter months. When May rolls around, I feel safe moving them outside. I know we can still get a few cold nights in May, but the plants should be fine.

We work together to clean off old, dead leaves and trim the plants back. She will add soil and fertilizer to the plants and before you know it, the plants will put on a flush of new growth. The trouble for me is that the plants seem to be getting heavier. When I was in my 20s and 30s, I could just pick the plants up and easily move them. Now it requires more effort.

When I reached for one of the plants the other day I didn’t stop and think about what needed to happen before I acted. I lifted this heavy plant and twisted my body. That didn’t work. I felt the pain shoot through my back and side. I quickly dropped the plant, but it was too late. The muscles in my side and back were already agitated, and then the pain gripped me.

I have to learn is that I can’t lift and do things as easily as when I was younger, which implies that I am getting older. I struggle with this lesson. The guy looking back at me in the mirror doesn’t look old. I don’t feel old. Age is all relative. I need to explain that to my back. My students perceive me as being old, but maybe there are some benefits to being my age. With age comes wisdom. Life has taught me many lessons and I am grateful for each one of them. Time gives us insight and a better understanding of how life works. I’ll take that.

There are plenty of dumb things that I have done in my life and experience has taught me not to repeat them. Experience is a great teacher if I take time to apply those lessons to other life circumstances. Wisdom and experience are good gifts for age.

Another lesson from this pain is I need to ask for help. I have been learning this lesson in several areas of my life and I am trying to get better at it. I don’t like to ask for help. I like to be independent. The reality is that God did not tell us to take this journey alone. He wants us to be in relationship with others. You need me and I need you.

This may sound strange, but I struggle with asking God for help. I want to be spiritually independent. I want to be the kind of guy who pulls himself up by his own bootstraps. I want to be the teacher, not the student. The truth is that God has given me plenty of wisdom that I can share with others, but the more important reality is that I have so much more to learn about God and His mysterious ways. I want to know the depth of His love. I want to understand that His ways are higher and better than mine. I want to learn to trust Him at every turn.

God wants each of us to put our hand in His as we walk through life. He promises never to leave us. That means we have to trust that He is there in the bad times as well as the good times. He has a plan for our lives and His plan includes personally interacting with us. We are called to walk with Him and with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

I want to encourage you to lift your hands to your Father in heaven. Look into His eyes which are filled with love for you. Quiet your thoughts and allow His peace to envelop you. Open your heart and make room for Him to come in and help you with whatever you are facing. He has the wisdom to help you find the path through to His home in heaven. You don’t have to understand or even know everything. All you need to do is trust and believe in Him.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or

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